Thursday, 2 August 2012

Artscape: Poets of Protest

Poets of Protest focuses on the [six] writers, their political and
artistic struggles, and their work, with beautifully filmed visual
interpretations of the poems.

Episode 1: Ahmed Fouad Negm

"When I love I love really well. 
  When I eat I eat really well. 
  When I write I write really well."

Egyptian folk hero Ahmed Fouad Negm is called the
"voice of the revolution"

Episode 2: Hala Mohammed

"The most beautiful poem written this year is 
'the Syrian people will not be humiliated'."

Exiled in Paris, Syrian poet Hala Mohamad despairs for
her country as the Syrian crisis deepens.

Episode 3: Yehia Jaber

 "All revolutions begin as poetry."

Yehia Jaber takes us on a journey across Lebanon
to discover why this former communist fighter now battles
for change with nothing but words.

Episode 4: Manal al-Sheikh

"I really hate to say this but this is the truth; 
there is no Iraq now."

It is lethal for Manal al-Sheikh to write in Iraq, so she
struggles to inspire her huge Facebook and Twitter
following from snowy Norway.

Episode 5: Mazen Maarouf

"The cause of Palestine doesn't need emotions anymore, 
we need minds."

Mazen Maarouf was raised in Lebanon but his outspoken 
work has forced him  to cope with a double exile, to Iceland. 
Now this wandering Palestinian poet's only security is his 

Episode 6: Al Khadra

"The men that trained the women said:
 'It's not fair to walk in front of a Sahrawi woman'."

Sahrawi nomad 'poet of the rifle' Al Khadra is illiterate:
her oral verse is vivid testament to three decades of the 
Sahara conflict.

Artscape: Poets of Protest on Al Jazeera 

 English from August 24, 2012.
Poetry in the Middle East lives and breathes as in few
other places. In a region long dominated by authoritarian
regimes, poetry is the medium for expressing people's hopes,
dreams and frustrations.

Poets became historians, journalists, entertainers - even

Ever since Tunisians chanted Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi's 
If the People Wanted Life One Day poetry has been a
key weapon  of the Arab Spring, used to taunt regimes'
refusing to see the writing  on the wall.

But Poets of Protest also goes beyond the Arab Spring...

Read more/watch videos after 24 August:

(above text excerpted & slightly altered from original; links added)

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